tv Countdown With Keith Olbermann MSNBC January 27, 2010 10:30pm-11:30pm EST
a bunch of other white people. we forgot that tonight. i think it was in the scope of his discussion, it was so broad ranging and so in tune with so many problems and aspects and aspects of american life that you don't think in terms of the old tribalism and ethnicity. it was astounding in that regard. very subtle fact. it is so hard to even talk about it. i shouldn't talk about it but i am. i thought it was profound that way. i think in terms of the seduction tonight, i don't think he did anything tonight out of love for republicans or deep understanding of people who disagree. he's probably incredibly fuss traited by the failure of a single republican senator to step up and say we have to do something about health care. i'm challenging my caucus on this one. i'm with you, buddy. not a single republican. that's got to frustrate a guy who has tried to reach out. he's willing to go for -- reform. willing to take on the trialers if he can get a dozen republicans, even half a dozen to join him. he wants bipartisanship.
they have decided to close the door on bipartisan. if i watch cornyn tonight, watch the chairman of their campaign committee. watch the chuckle face on mcconnell tonight. he's chuckling away because he thinks that just say no party can win big this november. unfortunately he may be right. that would not abgood vote for the american people. just for a party that sits on its keister and chuckles during a very bad recession. unfortunately that may be smart politics. but you know what, as they say in the godfather the smart move gets you garretted sometimes. you know what happened? the smart move got him killed. so i -- sometimes i like the people to think they -- we can't avoid "godfather" conversations. >> conveniently the republican response will take us out of the "godfather" conversation in a matter of seconds we go to the state house in virginia for the newly elected governor.
appears in front of a live audience which is a staging improvement for the republicans after bobby jindal's speech a year ago. here is governor balk mcdonnell of virginia. >> thank you very much. thank you. good evening. i'm bob mcdonnell. 11 days ago i was honored to be sworn in as the 71st governor of virginia. i'm standing in the historic house chamber of virginia's capitol. building designed by virginia's second governor, thomas jefferson. it is not easy to follow the president of the united states. in my 18-year-old twin boys added pressure to me tonight by giving me exactly ten minutes to finish before they leave to go watch "sportscenter." i'm joined by fellow virginians to share a republican perspective on how to best address the challenges facing our nation today. we were encouraged to hear president obama's speak this evening about the need to create jobs. all americans should have the
opportunity to find and keep meaningful work and dignity that comes with it. many of us here tonight and many of you watching have family or friends that lost their jobs and, in fact, one in ten americans is unemployed. that is unacceptable. here in virginia, we face our highest unemployment rate in more than 25 years. bringing new jobs and more opportunities to our citizens is the top priority of my administration. good government policies should spur economic growth and strengthen the private sector's ability to create new jobs.
we must enact policies that entrepreneur and innovation so america can better compete with the world. what government should not do is paul on more taxation, regulation or litigation that kills jobs and hurt the middle class. it was thomas jefferson who called for a wise and frugal government which will leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. he was right. today the federal government is simply trying to do too much. lavs year we were told massive new federal spending would create more jobs immediately. and hold unemployment before 8%. in the past year, more than 3 million people lost their jobs and yet the democratic congress continues deficit spending and adding to the bureaucracy and increasing national debt on our children and grandchildren. the amount of debt is on pace to double in five years and trip until ten. the federal debt is now over
$100,000 about household. this is simply unsustainable. the president's partial phrase on discretionary spend sing a step but a small one. circumstances of our time to demand we reconsider and restore the role of government at every level. without the excessive government, recent months the american people made clear that they want government leaders to listen and act on the issues most important to them. we want results, not rhetoric.
we want cooperation and not partis partisanship. there's much common ground. all americans agree we need health care system that's affordable and accessible and high quality. but most americans do not want to turn over the best medical care system in the world to the federal government. republicans in congress have offered legislation to reform health care without shifting medicaid costs to the states and without cutting medicare, and without raising your taxes. we will do that by implementing common sense reforms like letting families and businesses buy health care insurance policies across state lines and ending frivolous lawsuits against doctors and hospitals that drive up the cost of your health care. and our solutions aren't thousand page bills that no one has fully read after being crafted behind closed doors and special interests.
in fact, many of our proposals are available online. solutions.gop.gov. we welcome your ideas on facebook and twitter. all americans agree that this nation must become more energy independent and secure. we are blessed here in america with vast natural resources and weigh must use them all. advances in technology can unleash more natural gas, nuclear, wind, coal, alternative energy that will lower your utility bills. here in virginia, we have the opportunity to become the first state on the east coast to explore for and produce oil and natural gas offshore.
but this administration's policies are delaying offshore production and hindering talk lee a energy expansion and seeking to impose job killing cap and trade energy taxes. now is the time to adopt innovative energy policies that create jobs and lower energy prices. all americans agree that a young person needs a world class education to compete in the global economy. as a young kid my dad told me, son, if you want a good job, you need a good education. dad was right. that's even more true today. the president and i agree on expanding the number of high quality charters schools and rewarding teachers for excellent performance and more school choices for parents and students
mean more accountasxwilt grart achievement. a child's educational opportunity should be determined by her intellect and work ethic. not by her zip code. all americans agree we must maintain a strong national defense. the courage and success of our armed forces is allowing us to draw down troop levels in iraq and as that government is increasingly able to step up. may oldest daughter, jeanine, was an army platoon leader in iraq. i am personally grateful for the service and sacrifice of all of our men and women in uniform and grateful nation thanks them.
we applaud president obama's decision to deploy 30,000 more troops to afghanistan. we agree that victory there is imperative for national security. we have serious concerns over the recent steps the administration has taken regarding suspected terrorists. americans were shocked christmas day to learn of the attempted bombing of a flight to detroit. this terror suspect was given the same rights as a legal citizen and petely stopped providing critical intelligence. senator-elect brown said we should be spending taxpayer dollars to defeat terrorists, not to protect them.
here at home p. government must help foster a society in which all our people can use their god-given talents and liberty to pursue their great american dream. republicans know that government cannot guarantee individual outcomes but we strongly believe that it must guarantee a quality of opportunity for all. that opportunity exists best in a democracy which promotes free enterprise and economic growth and strong families, and individual achievement. many americans are concerned about this administration's efforts to exert greater control over car companies, banks, energy, and health care. but overregulating employers won't create more employment. overtaxing investors won't foster more investment. top down, one size fits all decisionmaking should not replace the personal choices of free people in a free market.
nor undermine the proper role of state and local governments in our system of federalism. as our founders clearly stated, we governors clearly understand, government closest to the people governor earns best. no governor program can ever replace the actions of caring americans freely choosing to help one another. the scriptures say to much is given much will be required. as the most generous and prosperous nation on earth it is heart warming to see americans giving much time and money to the people of haiti. thank you for your ongoing
compassion. some people say they are afraid america is no longer the great land of promise that she's always been. they should not be. america will always blaze the trail of zpunt prosperity. america will -- must always be land where libber zpi property are valued and respected and innocent human life is protected. government should have this clear goal. where opportunities absent we must create it. where opportunity is limited, we must expand it. where opportunity is unequal we must make it open to everyone.
our founders pledged their lives and their fortunes and their sacred honor to create this great nation. now we should pledge as democrats, republicans and independent, americans all a to work together to lead this nation in even -- leave this nation a better place than we found it. god bless you and god bless this great land of america. thank you very much. >> republican response to the state of the union from governor bob mcdonnell of virginia. here is, i think, the problem with the staging as much of an improvement as that scene is over past ones. he has been governor for 11 days. and nobody knows who he is. perhaps more importantly, he -- only other individual he quoted in there was a senator elected last week and no one knows who those other people are. it krae 80s something of a disconnect and one substantive
one. chris, let me ask you this quickly. will we ever get a response, either given by a republican or a democrat under whatever circumstances, that actually adecreeses what was said in the previous speech? >> no because they refuse to do that. this is true of the democrats in power as well. neither party has a person capable of reading a speech and reacting to it. i don't know why they den do it. it would be dynamite in news production. without it go right to the news cycle and we would be reporting it. there is nothing there that's news. >> let me -- >> nothing to report. >> let me -- i couldn't agree more with you. let me switch back to rachel in our last minimum and a half because there was something that took about 35 seconds of the president's state of the union address tonight. it has monumental import and i would like you to address it in the final minute or so. the very sort of under-the-radar low-key announcement to repeal don't ask, don't tell in the military.
>> we will have a lieutenant addressing that in person tonight in my show. i'm very much looking forward to hearing his take. the president in the past pledged to repeal don't ask, don't tell. he said as a candidate he would do it in first year and did not make that. he made that pledge personally to one of the people getting kicked out under the policy. those who want to get rid of this policy hope this means there's going to be new fire in the white house for pushing for it. john mccain tonight already releasing a written statement saying he opposes the repeal. >> rachel maddow who will be back in one hour with a live edition of "the rachel maddow show." to which we encourage you to watch and chris matthews who has been with us before and after tonight's speeches. i thank you both. it is always a pleasure. >> thanks, keith. >> good night, keith. >> live post-state of the union countdown special edition starts now.
good evening from new york. every american president having used some variation of the phrase to declare our union is strong but at the conclusion, president barack obama's first official state of the union address at the end of his first year in office exactly how strong is it. with more questions tonight about the strength of the president's resolve to carry through the policies he campaign order and try to accomplish in his first year especially health care reform. the president tonight reaffirming his desire to pass health care legislation without presenting any game plan for getting it done. not mentioning it until 32 minutes in. other than mentioning putting the burden of passing a bill on congress. >> i didn't choose to tackle this issue to get some legislative victory under my belt. and by now it should be fairly obvious that i didn't take on health care because it was good politics. here's what i asked congress, though. don't walk away from reform.
not now. not when we are so close. let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the american people. >> in fact, accomplishing his entire domestic agenda seeming to require, according to the president, desire by congress to want to change. this on a night which the senate majority leader could be seen yawning and republicans for the most part sat on their hands as the president proposed imposing a fee on banks that handed out big bonuses after american taxpayers had bailed those banks out. >> but what frustrates the american people is a washington where every day is election day. we can't wage a perpetual campaign where the only goal is to see who can get the most embarrassing headlines about the other side. a belief that if you lose, i win. neither party should delay or obstruct every single bill just
because they can. >> president asking for another change in tone when it comes to any discussion of american national security. topic that took up a good chunk of the latter part of tonight's speech. >> i know that all of us love this country. all of us are committed to its defense. so let's put aside the school yard talks about who is tough. let's reject the false choice between protecting our people and upholding our values. let's leave behind the fear and division and do what it takes to defend our nation and forge a more hopeful future for america and for the world. >> among those seated was the first lady. women from pennsylvania who met the president when he toured a jobs training site that got stimulus money, a man from arizona whose company received $99 million from the stimulus and used it to create clean energy jobs.
second stimulus act in the form after new jobs bill. yet as was leaked earlier this week the president also calling for three-year discretionary domestic spending freeze. >> starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. spending related to our national security, medicare, medicaid, and social security will not be affected. but all other discretionary government programs will. like any cash strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don't. and if i have to enforce this discipline by veto i will. >> when the gop scoffed about that taking place next year the president ad-libbed that's how budgeting works. the man who delivered the republican response, the are brand-new virginia governor, bob mcdonnell, saying the spending freeze is not big enough and big government itself is too big. >> the president's partial
phrase announced today under discretionary spending. the circumstances of our time demand we reconsider and restore the proper limited role of government at every level. >> joining us now, live from capitol hill, david axelrod. senior adviser to the president of the united states. david, good evening. >> keith, how are you doing? >> you characterized this earlier as president versus big banks, big insurers, and big unemployment, and essentially daring the republicans not to join him. would you accept that characterization? >> yes. at the end of the day, it is the president on the side of making this economy work for -- working people and middle clags people, people that want to be middle class going backwards even before this recession devastated by it. and that's something that's motivated him throughout. you are absolutely right. one of the big questions is whether it is one thing to stand up and applaud at a state of the union speech. it is another thing to get off the sidelines and actually
participate in solving the problems of this country. that's the president's challenge to the republican party. and one helps they will do it. i think everybody out there is desperate for a little less politics and a little bit more action here in this town. we have done a lot on our own. now they are bragging they have the 41st vote in the senate and that they can stop anything with the president said tonight is fine. now you have a responsibility for governoring. if you want to turn these initiatives down, then you have to answer to the american people. >> did you see anything hopeful in that? rachel maddow was commenting although she is not a big believer in body language it did seem as this speech went on, the republicans whether by choice or realization they were no longer reacting to essentially being in favor of longer life and more money for people began to loosen up and seemed to join in on some of the -- at least more obvious points. was there something never mind political but genuinely hopeful
in that to you? >> i would like to believe that there is an element in everyone who runs for public office and element of the patriotism and element of public spiritedness that says that you know what, we are all here to get a job done and a lot of what the president talked about shouldn't really be matters for dispute. i heard governor mcdonnell say in his speech that you know, we republicans have solutions on health care. we want to allow insurance companies to sell insurance across state lines. you know what, that's in the democratic bill. apparently he wasn't told that. but perhaps if he knows that's in the bill he would be more supportive of it. so i -- you know, i -- i don't know what to -- i mean, it is my hope that we can find some cooperation in this year to get some things done for the american people. we got big problems. you know, we will have to wait and see. >> what is your assessment of the president's success for want after better term getting the
audience back to whatever degree he did not have them in the last few weeks or months, did you think this succeeded and to what degree was that a goal? >> well, look, the state of the union is a great opportunity and unparalleled opportunity for any president to speak to the country to talk about where we have been and where we are going. and the president took great advantage of that tonight. now i think that people have a clear sense of what is motivating the things that he's doing. about where his priorities are for the country. they are the priorities of people across this country who want the economy to work better obviously and get people to work. but also raise raise wages and bring more security to the middle class. they want to see a change in the way washington works. so that we push back on the special interests and we have less of this sort of obstructionism and more constructive -- not always agreement. we are not always going to agree. as we he said, there are different views here.
that's democracy. but what we shouldn't have is one party taking the position that somehow if we stopped everything, if we get off on the sidelines and things fail, the country fails, that's a victory for them. that's a -- that's not what the american people want. >> last question, david. did you feel any regret, do you know if the president felt any regret it was in 32 minutes before the term health care reform was included in the speech when it was such a focus of his previous address to -- >> previous address he made was specifically on the health care issue. this was a state of the union speech. understand that health care is one of those forces that are pressing down on middle class people and pressing down on our economy. what the president did tonight was talk about all of those things, whether it is jobs, you know, education, training, and health care. retirement, security. all the things that are factors in how we build a better life
for people in this country and how we get the economy moving again. i don't think that anybody could have seen that speech and left thinking moving away from that issue it was a priority. no great political capital in going -- no great political prize in going after it. it is something that thwarted seven presidents. he felt it was important for the american people and important for our future and still does. he's going to keep -- he will keep trying to get the extra yard. >> david axelrod, white house senior adviser. great thanks as always for your time, sir. thank you. >> good to be with you. >> time to turn to senior washington correspondent for "newsweek," political analyst for msnbc, good evening again, howard. >> clearly, health care were she a singer went from soloist to chorus tonight. no way to look at it otherwise is there? >> as a matter of fact, the president said hey, if you have a better idea let me hear it.
that was a rhetorical device. but even joking about reopening negotiations on the whole thing probably made supporters of health care nervous. i know i have been admonished by the president of the united states not to indulge in soundbites because i'm a tv pundit but i'm now going to i didn't dull knowledge in one. if president leadership were only about giving speeches, the jack hammer was already be at work on mt. rushmore. i thought the guy dominated the, used humor, occupied the middle ground, it was both thee atrycally very good, play in the hall much better than it read on page. tactically quite smart. keith, this was one of the most conservative speeches that leaving aside the fact that the -- some of the bush tax cuts will lapse and other features in there, by and large, talking about tax cuts, stressing tax cuts, talking about spending
freezes, talking about the virtues of the -- free enterprise and economy, many, many way this is one of the most conservative speeches that democratic president has given since, i think, middle of bill clinton's time. and it was tactically quite smart on the president's part and in his tone which was all sweet reasonableness designed as rachel said to force the republicans to stand up as they eventually did and i thought that it was -- it was very, very well done. really left the republican governor of virginia very little to say. he didn't have too much say to begin with. >> in point of fact, i want to observe this is the problem with political pundits. i thought he was talking about me. you thought he was talking about you. i'm sure chris thought he was talking -- yeah, everybody is like, he just mentioned me in the speech. he did mention something and it got less -- was a -- ten-second item and it was the only -- then turned out to be the only substantive thing in mr. mcdonnell's response. prospect of offshore drilling which the governor really
emphasized as if he didn't even notice the president opened the door to offshore drilling. that's how -- >> exactly. >> how -- this is a bipartisan request. we need to rework the response process so that the fellow giving the response, whether democratic president or republican one, or some other party in the next century, that they actually -- guy giving the response has listened to the speech. >> you know, this is not by accident. the people in the white house politically are not dumb. they knew that mcdonnell won in virginia and knew the other republicans are winning. i think in a way president obama tonight tried to take off the table and by getting republicans to stand up or making the governor of virginia's remarks irrelevant, most of the things in the middle of the spectrum. also the tone of it was carefully slightly apologetic, i screwed up some things, i can do better. it was overall the tone of it was remarkably reasonable and commanding. and i think will do a lot to
restore at least the sense that the guy -- you know, has a game in hand. now, it is a big difference, as rachel was saying, chris was saying, between saying all of that and tactically occupying the ground rhetorically, and actually forcing the republicans and some democrats to vote for some of these things. barack obama desperately needs a legislative victory of some kind. i know he is waving his hand away about that. but he hasn't won anything in a long time. and he really needs to win something off of this really good speech. >> howard fineman of "newsweek" and msnbc. to expand on what you said, i take my share of the blame about the health care situation. we were talking beforehand about the difference between health care between blame and responsibility. he went with blame. thanks, howard. >> thank you, keith. how did congressional democrats in the house chamber react to the president's message tonight. getting early read on the white
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we are joined now from capitol hill by a representative anthony weiner, democrat of new york. in the wake of the president's state of the union address, and congressman, i would like to play one part of this which might be for all the talk don't ask, don't tell and limited talk about health care, jobs creations, number one focus in 2010, one thing that may be the headline for the average american watching. here is the clip first. >> we recovered most of the money we spoken the banks.
most but not all. controversy the rest, i propose ad fee on the buggest ban esgeg banks. now i know wall street isn't keen on this idea. but if these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need. >> congressman, one of the early themes of this speech was -- seemed to me -- wall street versus main street. the president on the side of main street. did he tap into something with the american public's point of view at the moment? >> well, if one of the primary things the president needed to do in this speech is make a clear, you know, we get it, we understand the challenges that people are facing, we are trying to solve them, the president did that from the moment the speech began and right throughout.
es especially with that point. he made it very clear he could have come into the speech woe is me and we are in a touch situation, i'm sorry. instead he leaned in and made it very clear he's going to lead this agenda going forward. those of us in congress are pleased to hear that. >> there was at both end of the spectrum, i thought, he went for a lot of bipartisanship and calls for teend partisanship and at the same time he called out the gop in the senate for refusing to agree to anything and called them the party of no. he -- mocked those who laughed when hay said that limited budget freeze wouldn't be until 2011, that's how budgeting works. it was a neat hair to split in that sense. >> yeah. it was a great speech in that he made it clear when his values were and he was than going to abandon the face of what has been persistent republican opposition. just about every turn. and he also did it with a smile on his face which i think drove a lot of my republican colleagues you a little crazy.
he also reserved some jabs for an institution that deserves it and that's the united states senate. i think five times he said the house has passed important initiatives and wouldn't it be great if the senate went ahead and did that, too. he did do an excellent job tonight. >> he did not abandon his principles and yet 32 minutes of that speech went by before a phrase and you i have discussed several times in the last few months was even mentioned. health care reform. how did you feel about how health care reform seemed to have gone from the soloist to a member of the chorus? >> i am fine with it. the most important thing is that we were at a dividing point here and had to decide whether he was going to say basically health care is dead or health care is still something he will fight for. hay said he's going to fight for it and i take him at his word. this is the end of conversation and is not in there trying to get this past and making clear to the american people we need the public option, closing the doughnut hole and i will be wrong. he had a choice here and leaned forward to health care.
i'm satisfied now we are going to watch important the followup. >> what did you think of the republican responses to all of these outreaches and less so although he did ask, said if anybody had a better idea than what proceed posed from either party would be happy to hear it. that i guess counts as an outreach and other ones were much more specific to the republicans and did seem like for the first few topics in which this area, concept was raised, the republicans sat on their hands but eventually kind of -- did he stare them down into getting up and applauding for a couple of things? >> clearly, the republican talking points were not ready for him to read a list of seven, eight tax cuts with this congress has done. their first line was boy, wouldn't it be great if he cut taxes and didn't know whether to applaud or read from the talking points. the president did an artful job, i think, making it clear he doesn't want to have a partisan battle any more than necessary. but that he is going to fight for his values. and you know, many of us have wanted to see the aspirational
idea driven candidate that we saw on the campaign trail become the president that sometimes had been too transactional. he showed me to me he is getting back to those ideals. >> we will continue with congressman weiner. inside the president's plan to boost the jobs in advance of the mid terms and will the proposals outline tonight get that done? as the great recession? or as the recession that made us great? allstate has seen twelve recoveries. but this one's different. because we're different. we realized our things are not as important... as the future we're building with the ones we love. protect yours. put it... in good hands. ♪
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state of the union address countdown, we are again continuing with the congressman anthony weiner, democrat of new york. and and the -- the idea about jobs as the number one goal, congressman in 2010. saying small business is the generator of jobs, there's three questions about that. one, kind of co-opted the republican message from several months ago before the stimulus began, does it -- give them an opportunity to say told you so? and more importantly, to the point, was the president specific enough about how to address the 10% unemployment? >> look, i think that the -- the least of the president's prom problems now, the president -- republicans saying i told you so, take your hand and do a deal. right now, the problem that we have here in washington is that the rechs to a man and woman are saying we want no successes for the president whatsoever which means they are not at the table for any discussions. is this going to answer every question? of course not. but i can tell you that his
initiatives today do resonate with average citizens who are wondering when those closed stores on their shopping strips, neighborhoods mall will get reopened. i think he has some plans that make some real sense. i think that our expectations sometimes are going to turn around instantly. we were lose being 700,000 jobs a month when president bush left office. we are lose being 60,000 jobs a month now. it is not perfect. but it is certainly going in the right direction. >> was it phrased correctly the way he went out and emphasized the brief history of the economic troubles of the last eight, nine years, how they have been building and what he inherited because if said wrong, that is exactly the kind of thing you said he did not do and needed to avoid tonight which was to be woe is me about this. do you think he threaded that needle? >> he hit the tone just right. i mean, let's face it. there has been an organized effort recently to ignore the world before january of 2009.
to dark act as if the deficit was created by president obama, fiscal woes created by president obama. the president very artily pointed out the bank bailout to my republican friends criticized with proposed by a republican administration. he did that very well. he did it with for the most part in good spirit and even a few times with a smile on his face. and what's important, though, he set the record straight for the american people who deluge of misinformation might have lost sight of those zblakts one question i don't know the last time that in a state of the union or any other function with the supreme court seated in front of him, any president of the united states has criticized what that supreme court just did and videotape we are looking at, in the back rows, the left, justice alito is saying that's not true to president's assessment of the possibility of big business taking over the elections and particularly foreign money coming in and influencing the elections. i thought it was timely,
obvious. and obviously timely and great concern to the american public. it is beginning to look like a map of a weather forecast here. we will stop running it on the continuous loop. what did you think of the president criticizing the supreme court to its face? that's the gist of the question. >> well, it looked to me -- i looked at alito as well. i thought he was going to yell out "you lie" to keep in the spirit of the day. i give the president a lot of credit. i don't recall ever hearing -- he did to the necessary caveat, you know, all due respect. but directly saying to the supreme court what is needed to be said. you know, that decision while many americans don't focus on, it is not the kind of thing that enters their household every day what the supreme court does. is going to have a remarkably corrosive effect in this town. and for the president to look down at those nine members of the supreme court and say you messed up, i thought was something another thing reinforced the notion this was a straight-talk speech. >> as you know better than do i, the world of politics, when something is said prefaced with
all due respect, not followed with that great am of respect. we appreciate your staying with us. >> thank you, keith. >> as authorities try to unravel why a group of men wanted to tamper with senator mary landrieu's phones. the connections to the perpetrators and local republican candidates and the tea party now coming into focus. david shuster joins us from new orleans with the latest detail. more reaction to the president's state of the union as well. d# 10 tdd# 1-800-345-2550 if i could change one thing... tdd# 1-800-345-2550 we'd all get a ton of great advice tdd# 1-800-345-2550 just for being a client. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 i mean, shouldn't i be able to talk about my money tdd# 1-800-345-2550 without it costing me a fortune? tdd# 1-800-345-2550 if i had my way, investment firms would be tdd# 1-800-345-2550 falling all over themselves to help me with my investments. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 (announcer) at schwab investors rule. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 are you ready to rule?
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nbc news learned the federal government does not believe the four men charged with infiltrating the office of u.s. senator mary landrieu. the democrat of louisiana in order to pamper with her phones attempting to wiretap her. instead a law enforcement official tells msnbc news they believe senator landrieu's office was unresponsive to calls about health care reform and wanted to see whether her staff responded to had loss of their phones by laughing it off or
expressing concern about constituents being unable to reach them. they were all willing to risk ten years in jail to do so. defendant james o'keefe already admitted to taping the events. new reports unnamed officials today say that one of the two bogus phone repairmen wore a tiny hidden camera rigged into his hard hat. james d aarrested in car down the street had when sources describe as a listening device. they are not random pranksters. they are cultivated nurtured products of the same republican establishment now desperately trying to disown them tonight. o'keefe was on the payroll of andrew brightbart who denies any foreknowledge of this incident. o'keefe spoke at one tea party incident last year. in 2006 and 2007 o'keefe worked for the right wing leadership institute which says, quote, the leadership institute does not analyze policy and trains conservatives how to win. but by conservative activist morton blackwell, institute group campus reform interviewed o'keefe and co-defendant joseph
basel and wrote to protect their ongoing investigations we can't say when or where the interview was conducted. basel attended bush's 2005 inauguration and facebook fan of the tea party patriots group and managed the 2006 campaign of now state senator, republican of minnesota. co-defendant robert flanagan, son of the acting u.s. attorney in baton rouge, works for the right pink pelican institute. o'keefe spoke last week. flanagan for republican congresswoman mary fallon, co-sponsor of the gop resolution in the house that's to honor o'keefe. mr. dai received a grant from the phillips foundation which was start bid the late robert novak and kept going by right wing publisher alfred rednori.
reporting on this story for msnbc is david shuster who anchors our day side coverage at 10:00 and 3:00 p.m. back on his old beat scandal watch. reports for us tonight from new orleans. good evening, david. >> reporter: good evening, keith. >> indication at this point is we should not expect any further charges or outlines of the crime complete in the prosecutors' minds at this point? >> reporter: to an extent. there's a grand jury available to these prosecutors and always the potential for a superseding indictment. especially if, in fact, they determine that james o'keefe was the ringleader and essentially gave an incentive, perhaps financial incentive, for the others to help him. assuming the facts stay as they are now, the case is not going to change that much. it is also important to point out that the difference between a wiretap felony and aes from pass felony where you are trespassing on the phones that are operated by the united states government as criminal complain says, it is still a felony and a very serious deal
the -- the depths of this, this listening device that stan dai had, this was not some kind of wiretap attempt. was there another explanation of what that phrase means, listening device? >> reporter: that's described as communication and walkie-talkie or a cell phone in which he was in contact with james o'keefe. while james o'keefe and other two on the tenth floor of the building and dai was in the truck they were having a conversation, running conversation or at least that monitoring what was going on upstairs. again the key information is that dai is cooperating with investigators as are the rest and prosecutors never mind they didn't have the necessary equipment to tap the phones while what exact will you were they doing and clearly, the fact that they --ensly acknowledge that they intended to go in the office, that gets them the coo issue and that's to prove that there is a crime you have to prove intent and based on their admissions to investigators it
would seem that is in place. >> i don't know if you are aware of this but the associated press moved a story about an hour and a half ago. it dove tails into what nbc news reported earlier about this. the incident referring to what happened on monday in the senator's office occur ad month after landrieu announced her support for the health care bill. conservatives complained they were unable to register protests at her offices because their calls were referred to voice mailboxes that were often full. response about the senator nottinctionly trying to avoid phone calls related to health care or other topics. certain irony that a democratic senator who was so recalcitrant on supporting health care, this may somehow dove tail into the bizarre rationale for these people who decided to come in and try to screw up her phone system? >> well, certainly raises a deep question of judgment among the
four. the idea this they would try to shame marya landrieu's office staff in louisiana where she spends most of her time in washington, shame them because somehow they are not picking up the phone as often as conservatives would like to hear the complaints. it is odd, even stranger when you consider that again, they have demonstrated that they intended to go into the office and intended to trespass on the phone system and somehow try to say hey, they laughed when they realized their phone wasn't working. that's not what happened. they didn't get the result they wanted and now have a felony charge hanging over them and prosecutor who we are told everybody who knows this guy says is a no-nonsense guy. he's fairly humorless and had an opportunity to talk to the office twice. they take this very sear seriously. they don't find any of it amuse. >> "the new york times" story, i believe be perhaps the "los angeles times," the woman involved in the a.c.o.r.n. videos with mr. o'keefe now issued a statement saying she sure hopes it is not true because she has the greatest possible respect important the
law. mr. o'keefe, bust mr. o'keefe. david shuster, great and thanks and have a good night. to return the to the subject of the state of the union address. whether or not the president's plans to boost the economy are anything more than a symbolic gesture. we will go through this into the economic details. when rachel joins you, the quarter to mark of the hour, the view from the white house tonight from presidential senior adviser valerie jarrett. an get s that put you in charge of your world and hungry and the online tools to help you face any situation. which means 'darn right you can go to the dinner party' and still loose weight. and learn how to keep it off. join for free now. sorry hungry, you're not invited. but you are, join for free today and change your life. weight watchers. stop dieting. start living. oh, just come snuggle with momma!
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